I have farmed since 1981 and we have always been careful with water.
The Bee’s Dec. 6 report on the drought shows one-dimensional thinking. Water cutbacks to farms does more than fallow farmers’ ground and raise the cost of food. What happens to our carbon footprint when we import food for 38 million Californians?
The U.N. calculates it takes 800 gallons of water per person per day to produce our food. For California, that comes out to 31 million acre feet of water. We can lower the carbon footprint of 38 million Californians if we can get water to produce their food here. The alternative is import our food. I hope we can agree, that for a number of reasons, that is not a good idea.
Of course, we should always be careful with our water. As The Bee article points out, there are wet years and dry years in California. I have long said we are foolish because we do not store water from the wet years and save it for the dry years. But, just cutting back water will make us all poorer and aggravate other environmental problems.
Paul Betancourt, Kerman